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As a building principal, I am in a perpetual state of building relationships. Each day I cope with the uncertain outcome of daily conversations with a variety of stakeholders. Reading the chapter on uncertainty reduction theory (URT), I recognized many approaches I use when meeting a new person. Charles Berger’s URT addresses cognitive rather than behavioral uncertaintyreduction. Behavioral reduction regards questions related to how to act when first meeting someone. Cognitive reduction has to do with ways to gather information when you first meet someone. Berger developed 8 axioms, key variables to grow relationships. Additionally, he generated twenty-eight theorems based on the outcomes of combined axioms. Both the axioms and the 28 extensions provide the background for Berger’s work “A Plan-Based Theory of Strategic Communication”. This plan seeks to help guide one through the process of using communication to reduce uncertainty. …show more content…
They are goal-driven. Because of this, Berger suggests strategies, message plans, that can be used to help us deal with the uncertainty. Plan complexity, seeking information (passive, active, or through interactions), and hedging are all strategies. These are all strategies I have used, most often, due to the spontaneity of many of my conversations, I use the interactive strategy. Often, I will use humor in an attempt to hedge. I have found a smile to be extremely helpful in reducing uncertainty when engaging in that first conversation. None of Berger’s theory surprised me. Reading the Afifi’s critique of Berger, the idea that we are more motivated reduce anxiety rather than uncertainty during first time encounters. I may be missing something, but I think anxiety and uncertain y go hand in

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